Posted on September 19th, 2011 1 comment
Joël Spolsky, a former Microsoft employee, created his company Fog Creek Software based on the strong belief that hiring top software developers, treating them like rock stars and providing them the best tooling and work environment leads to a profitable business. From empirical results, this philosophy seems to be true. In this book, Joël describes and justifies this philosophy in a concise and humorous book, filled with real life examples and anecdotes. In a nutshell, you’ll learn why hiring top developers is so important (depending on which business you’re in), how to attract and retain such profiles that are basically never on the market, what kind of office and tooling works best for productivity, etc. While one could think it’s intended for the IT recruiters audience, I found that this reading was very interesting for developers as well, so you know what qualities recruiters are looking for, among other things.
- Concise (can be read in an afternoon) and funny book
- Lots of interesting infos and insights about recruiting top software professionals
- Conception given in the book is maybe a bit too elitist : while it claims that only top professionals should be hired, a lot of companies can’t afford to do that (they couldn’t attract nor retain those kind of people, unchallenging tasks is just one reason among others). A lot of projects don’t require every developer to be a rock star to succeed
Very interesting book in overall. Just keep in mind that those principles only apply to companies who have the potential to attract and retain top developers. In that case, the learnings from this book prove to be very useful. Myself working for a company applying those principles (great people, great tooling, great environment such as free catering, massage, etc), I can definitely tell from experience that the results are incredible !
Posted on July 16th, 2009 3 comments
There are several kinds of books. Steve Kurg’s Don’t make me think is one of these books written by top industry experts renowed worldwide, whose book became an instant classic by the time of its release. And myself being a web passionate, having this book on my bookshelf was just straightforward. As the title suggests, Steve Krug teaches us web usability, that is, the art of making websites not only good looking or technically correct but also usable by remembering us his master rule : “don’t make me think”. All over the book, a common sense approach is conducted to demonstrate and teach us that we make websites for users first and how to build websites that are easy and simple to use in order for the project to reach its goal. Don’t be mistaken : you’ve got loads to learn about this apparently simple, but in fact complex and essential topic.
- A very pleasant book to read. It’s fast, fun and very interesting
- The approach which puts the reader at the user’s point of view and literally living the experience
- Teaches you how to optimize lots of things, such as the homepage, searching, forms, testing and many other aspects of a web project
- The great chapter about website testing, where you’ll feel like having assisted to a real experience thanks to an immersive story
- At first I thought I would learn little because things seem obvious. And I’ve learned many useful things about web usability in this book
- You won’t develop websites the same way after reading this. Get ready to start thinking as a user
- If you’re developing/designing websites/apps, this book is a must-have on your bookshelf
- No really cons. Except the fact that there’s no Volume #2 in order to cover even more in detail this vast and essential topic
As you’ve seen, I truly recommend this reading which is, according to me essential. Because too many people think as a developer for the nice-to-have technical aspects, as a designer for the cool-looking stuff, or as a manager or CEO for things they think would be great to add (and the real disaster it is, like doubling the overall font size), learn to make something for users, allow them to find the information they want easily, don’t make them think and ultimately achieve complete success with your web project.
Posted on May 22nd, 2009 2 comments
- A checklist close to perfection, precise and concise at the same time
- Globality of the approach : marketing, content, navigation, …
- Theory illustrated through statistics, real-case good and bad examples
- Interesting resource URLs given all along the book (reference articles, interesting tools, …)
- A great value-added book at a very fair price (about 25 $)
- Fast to read, straight to the point construction, training book as well as a checklist reference
- Color printed book
- Could have been interesting to have more technical details about the good practices, but it would have lost its “checklist” philosophy
- Honestly nothing else. As I said, one of my best buys of web books
Posted on March 18th, 2009 No comments
I’ve bought 3 books from the Techdays as discounts up to 30% were applicable. These books are Code Complete, .NET Architecting - Applications for the Enterprise and Visual Studio Tips. So expect to find reviews of these ones in the Books section later on
Posted on March 4th, 2009 No comments
In this section, you will find reviews about books that I’ve read. For each book, I will discuss the pros and cons, what I found interesting, or at the contrary boring and if according to me it’s a reading that I would recommend.
Don’t hesitate to comment for the books you’ve read also !
Have a nice reading,